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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #295355

Title: Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi in horses from Mexico

item YEARGAN, MICHELLE - University Of Kentucky
item ALVARADO-ESQUIVEL, COSME - Juarez University Of The State Of Durango
item Dubey, Jitender
item HOWE, DAN - University Of Kentucky

Submitted to: Parasite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2013
Publication Date: 9/10/2013
Citation: Yeargan, M., Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Dubey, J.P., Howe, D. 2013. Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi in horses from Mexico. Parasite. 20:29.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Neospora spp. Are very closely related single celled parasites, that cause serious diseases in livestock. Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora spp. cause fatal encephalitis in horses. Nothing is known about these infections in horses in Mexico although these parasites are common in the US horses.In the present study authors found that nearly half of the 495 horses from Mexico were exposed to S. neurona but only 3% were exposed to Neospora. These results will be of interest to veterinarians in general and horse practioners in particular.

Technical Abstract: The risk of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) to horses in Mexico has not been established. Serum samples from 495 horses in Durango State, Mexico were examined for the presence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on the major surface antigens of these 2 parasites. Antibodies to S. neurona were detected in 241 (48.7%) of the 495 horse sera tested with the rSnSAG2/4/3 trivalent ELISA. Antibodies to N. hughesi were found in 15 (3.0%) horse sera tested with the rNhSAG1 ELISA and confirmed by Western blot analysis of N. hughesi tachyzoite antigen. The seroprevalence to both parasites are consistent with results from studies conducted in other geographic regions where these organisms are known to be endemic. The findings of the present study confirm that both S. neurona and N. hughesi are present in Mexico and that EPM should be in the differential diagnosis for horses exhibiting signs of neurologic disease in this country.